B’nai Tzedek

How do you teach a young person the value of tzedakah and the skills he/she will need to become a philanthropist? The Jewish Federation of Louisville’s B’nai Tzedek program is designed to do just that.

B’nai mitzvah candidates who participate in B’nai Tzedek donate some of the money they receive as gifts for their milestone celebration, and that money will be matched, creating principle for an endowment. Some of the funding from the match will come from the Lewis D. Cole Youth Initiative and some from other donors, to be named later.

The money that all B’nai Tzedek participants contribute to the fund along with the matching funds are pooled, and the participants work together to decide how available dollars should be allocated. Rachel Lipkin is the program director.

Using a curriculum developed by the Jewish Teen Funders Network, participants engage in meaningful discussions and have hands-on experiences. They develop a mission statement and answer questions including what’s the purpose of being a Jewish group and what values are important. Once they determined what they want to accomplish, they solicit proposals from not for profit organizations seeking funding for projects or programs that match their goals.

As those proposals come in, the participants review them, ask questions and, in some cases, even make site visits. Once all the information has been gathered, the participants hold discussions, build a consensus and decide which proposals they can fund.

The participants are the decision makers. They decide what kinds of projects or programs they want to fund, craft the RFP (request for proposal), evaluate the submissions, ask the tough questions and make the final choices. Once they complete the program, they will have the skills they will need to make informed decisions about their personal charitable giving throughout their lives.

When the B’nai Tzedek program was established, participants established individual funds bearing their names. Those earlier participants have the option of maintaining their funds as originally established or adding their funds to the pool and increasing the amount available to today’s program participants to allocate.

If you own a B’nai Tzedek fund and want to make a distribution recommendation for your available funds contact the Jewish Foundation of Louisville at 502-238-2739.

Many teens have pledged to set up funds when they became Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Sidney Abramson
Ben Amchin
Rebecca Balf
Jacob Bass
Noah Bass
Alexander Blieden
David Bloom
Sarah Bloom
Jeremy Blum
Nathan Cohen
Joseph Cox
Brent Davis
Emily Davis
Joshua Deitel
Adam Dicken
Lauren Dicken
Stephanie Doctrow
Jacob Emont
Margo Emont
Daniel Ensign
Sarah Ensign
Ilan Esrey
Max Fine
Meredith Fine
Molly Fine
Andrew Frankenthal
Jeremy Frankenthal
Seth Frankenthal
Alanna Gilbert
Jason Gilbert
Rebecca Gilbert
Andrea Glazer
Mallory Glazer
Tiffany J. Goldsmith
Brecklyn Grossman
Emori Grossman
Hayley Grossman
Jennifer Harlan
Joseph Harlan
Sadie Harlan
Paige Harrison
Kelly Hymes
Anna Isaacs
Alyssa Kaplan
Benjamin Kaplan
Jeremy Kaplan
Matthew Kaplan
Arthur Kasdan
David Katz
Adison Klein
Michael Klein
Rachel Klein
Sarah Klein
Eli Kleinsmith
Madison Kommor
Maxwell Kommor
Michelle Kommor
Rachel Kritchman
Deborah Levin
Emily Levin
Jonathan Lustig
Julia Lustig
Rebecca Lustig
Daniel Mark
Joshua Mark
Daniel Melzer
Jonathan Merenbloom
Renae Nally
Benjamin Newstadt
Hanna Newstadt
Benjamin Paul
Justin Paul
Daniel Pearson
Gareth Penner
Naomi Mae Penner
Kyle Pressma
Dana Prussian
Emily Reinhardt
Hannah Reikes
Michael Reikes
Eric Reskin
Sophie Reskin
Andrew Rosengarten
Jeff Rosengarten
Josh Salzman
Sam Salzman
Allison Schaffer
Molly Schuster
Bradley Schwartz
Eric Schwartz
Jeremy Slosberg
David Spielberg
Nathan Spielberg
Jeremy Stein
Mallory Stein
Emily Trager
Kevin Trager
Jennifer Ulliman
Elana Wagner
Talia Wagner
Schuyler Weinberg
Zachery Weinberg
William Yashar
Jacob Yashar